(American, b. 1940)
Bronze, unique cast
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art,
Auburn University; museum purchase
with funds provided by Montgomery
Auburn alumni and friends, and JCSM
Art Society, Montgomery
Alabama artist Frank Fleming is widely acclaimed for his darkly whimsical sculptures in bronze and ceramic. He often combines human, animal, and plant forms, each rendered in minute detail, to create fantastical scenarios that bring to mind fairy tales, myths, and supernatural visions. Serenade is a recent work by the artist and new acquisition by the museum. In this composition a very apprehensive hare (termed by Fleming as a “swamp rabbit”) bares disturbingly sharp claws, while a bird perches lightly upon its ear. Perhaps the bird offers quiet advice or conversely is the source of the hare’s agitation. Fleming leaves that interpretation up to the viewer, although the title suggests a harmonious relationship between the two creatures.